March 24, 2017
President Trump and House Republicans Pull American Health Care Act Before Votes
ASA Listening Session Postponed
On Friday, March 24, Republican leadership removed the House GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from consideration on the House Floor. This move to postpone final votes on the House Republican budget reconciliation bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), follows days of debate as House Republican leaders and the President worked to develop a package that Republican members could support.
The AHCA was the first of several legislative and regulatory efforts that Congress and the Administration indicated they plan to undertake to repeal and replace the ACA. It is unclear at this time how Republicans will proceed with health care reform efforts.
Given these important developments, the ASA Listening Session scheduled for the evening of Sunday, March 26, has been postponed. ASA will schedule another listening session when there is more information to share regarding how Congress will address health care reform.
While the next steps in the effort to replace the ACA is unclear, the ASA leadership, staff and Ad Hoc Committee on Health Care Reform have and will continue to monitor activities in Congress and the Administration related to health care reform initiatives that will impact anesthesiologists and our patients. Earlier this week, ASA officers traveled to Capitol Hill for a full day of meetings with key Congressional policymakers. During these briefings, they provided timely ASA input on current and potential health policies impacting anesthesiology.
Over the past week, some ASA members questioned whether the ASA had taken any formal position regarding the reconciliation legislation that was under consideration. ASA deferred from taking a position on the bill because it was being continuously revised by the House so that it was difficult to determine the exact language and its implications.
ASA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Health Care Reform, chaired by Neal Cohen, M.D., recently released a set of principles on health care reform, in addition to a summary document on AHCA, which may be found at www.asahq.org/HealthCareReform. These principles are designed to provide broad guidance to ASA through all phases of health care reform efforts.
We will continue to update members on key developments in this important debate and encourage ASA members to share their views, questions and concerns at: [email protected]